Blue economy approach must become mainstay of development: minister
Jakarta, Indonesianpost.com – Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Menko Marves) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has emphasized that the blue economy approach must become the mainstay of Indonesia’s future development because its concept balances the economy and ecology.
“We have to do this, otherwise climate change will be a problem in the future,” he said while delivering a public lecture at the National Maritime Seminar on National Maritime Day, which was accessed online in Jakarta on Friday.
Pandjaitan informed that Indonesia contributes 2.3 million tons per capita of carbon emissions, much lower than developed countries, which contribute 15 million tons per capita.
However, Indonesia must not be careless and continue to utilize its potential and encourage development based on the blue economy, he said. This is because as much as 70 percent of Indonesia’s territory or 6.4 square kilometers comprises sea area, which can be utilized.
“However, the contribution of the blue economy is still relatively limited. Maritime contributions are still limited with GDP (gross domestic product) growth being lower than national GDP growth,” he said.
As per the presentation shared at the seminar, the contribution of maritime GDP was only 7.6 percent in 2021. Meanwhile, maritime GDP growth in 2021 was only 2.04 percent, below the national GDP growth of 3.69 percent during the same period.
This also had an impact on the level of welfare of coastal communities, which was worse than non-coastal communities.
“The residents of coastal areas were relatively poorer with worse poverty rates. The percentage of poor people on the coast reached 11.02 percent, while non-coastal areas reached 8.67 percent. So you can see the gap,” he said.
Therefore, Pandjaitan also called for the development of the maritime industry and said the downstream of maritime resources needs to continue to be improved.
He emphasized the need to improve the maritime processing industry and revive the ship maintenance and repair service manufacturing industry.
“Well, we have to make this happen so that if someone wants to maintain a ship outside, maybe we will give them a higher tax,” he said.
Pandjaitan also highlighted the crucial importance of downstream seaweed, which has great potential for development because it is used as a raw material by several industries, ranging from health products, food, organic fertilizer, food substitutes, and bioplastics, to biodiesel.